Second Grade Reading Test Prep Tips

Your second grader will likely take several reading tests over the course of the year. These tests assess your child for placement and are a convenient way for you to evaluate his or her reading skills. Keep reading for more information and a few tips on helping your child prepare.

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Helping Your Child Prepare for Second Grade Reading Tests

What to Expect

The type of reading tests you can expect for your child in the second grade depends on where you live and where your child goes to school. Some states, like Washington, administer a standardized test in reading and math to second graders. Usually, you can expect tests on fluency and reading comprehension throughout the year. In addition, your child will need to recognize and spell compound words and contractions. He or she should also recognize the differences between literary genres.

Your child's teacher will either send home reading test scores or give you an overview during conferences. Look at the scores to see your child's strengths and weaknesses. Then, use this knowledge to create appropriate practice activities at home.

Reading Comprehension

If your child needs to work on reading comprehension, read books together. Before you even start a book, look at the cover, table of contents and pictures. Ask your child questions about what he or she thinks might happen in the story.

While reading, stop occasionally to discuss the contents of the book with your child. Ask him or her to predict the outcome. Predictions will get your child's creative wheels turning and make him or her interpret the text. After the book is finished, compare what actually happens with his or her predictions. Discuss how the story would have been different if your child had been correct.


If test scores show that your child should work on fluency, make flashcards of sight words. Sight words are simple words, like 'the' and 'she', that are used frequently. As your child memorizes these common words, he or she will be able to read basic texts with greater ease.

Repetition can help your child gain confidence and familiarity with reading. Have your child read the same text aloud multiple times. Record your child and play it back so that he or she can hear both the errors and the improvements.

Taking Practice Exams

For state-mandated reading exams, placement tests and other assessments, prepare by administering practice tests at home. Ask your child's teachers where you can get them or check with your state's Department of Education. Test taking is a learned skill. Administering practice reading tests at home not only helps your child with the content, but also gets him or her used to taking tests. Have your child sit in a quiet, uncluttered space and set a time limit. When your child is finished, go over the answers and focus on the areas that need the most improvement.

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